From the Super Mario Wiki, the Mario encyclopedia
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A Light Block (also known as a Glow Block) is an item found in the game New Super Mario Bros. Wii and New Super Mario Bros. U. They are white blocks with eyes similar to Rotating Blocks from Super Mario World. As the name suggests, these blocks emit light that Mario and the other characters can use to illuminate dark areas. The characters must carry them in order to explore different areas with the help of the block's light. To pick up a Light Block, the player must shake the and press and hold at the same time. Light Blocks are only present in dark and murky areas such as caves or Ghost Houses. They can also be used as a projectile, by throwing it to the enemies, in similar fashion to Super Mario Bros. 2's physics.
In addition to normal-sized Light Blocks, bigger moving varieties also appear. These blocks appear as moving nearly-invisible blocks at first (which look similar to Empty Blocks from Super Mario World), but if Mario or any other character hits a nearby ? Switch, the blocks temporarily glow and keep moving. These blocks can be used for both lighting the way and means of transportation.
In New Super Mario Bros. U, only the bigger varieties appear, and act as in the Wii version as platforms, but still illuminate dark areas. Some are activated by pressing a ? Switch. They mostly appear in Light Blocks, Dark Tower.
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